Several days ago, Party of Regions MP Vadym Kolesnichenko was under dirt attack during his press conference on the problem of language use during the creation of biometric passports. A woman hurled several bags of dirt at Kolesnichenko shouting 'The bandits have already crossed all limits!'

Kolesnichenko dodged the packages thrown at him, and one of them hit the wall behind him. The lawmaker described the woman as “sick.” The woman then ran out of the room, but was detained by security guards. After that media representatives called the police to register the fact of damage to property.

Kolesnichenko is not the only Ukrainian politician, who has learned the people's anger to own cost. A week before this incident, on April 2, participants of the protest action near the parliament attacked with snowballs several women - MPs from the Party of Regions Iryna Horyna, Yulia Levechkina, Iryna Berezhna and President's aide Maryna Stavniychuk. In 2011, student of Mohyla Academy Daria Stepanenko slapped the education minister Dmytro Taabachnyk on the face with a bouquet of flowers during the summit of Council of Europe education ministers in Kyiv. Later she explained it was a protest against Tabachnyk's policy.

Moreover, not only Ukrainian politicians met such 'warm welcome'. This year in January Russian MP, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Vladimir Zhirinovsk was pelted with cabbage during a news conference in Kiev. The woman who threw pickled cabbage salad at the Russian politician accused him of being a “Ukrainophobe.”

So, why do Ukrainians now prefer to resort to hooliganism? ForUm has asked sociologists and political scientists about how dangerous such tendency is.

Oksana Brik, psychologist, professor of the faculty of social sciences and technologies of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy:

- In certain periods, especially crisis, the culture of society gets low. It concerns not only our society. It is a general tendency regardless of epoch and mentality.

On the other hand, culture is the rules of game. To behave adequately people should follow these rules, but the important thing is that both parts involved in the conflict, like in this case, follow the same rules. If one of the parts ignores the rules, what is the point of the rules in the first place?

Pavel Duplenko, psychiatrist, A.P. of the psychiatry and narcology department of the Bohomoletsk National Medical University:

- Not only Ukrainians throw things into politicians. In the United States, for example, a man threw a cake into a governor. Such action is a personal expression of will. Whether such actions have effect depends on individual perception of a politician, but as for me, it does not change anything. Moreover, I don't welcome such tendency, as it is pure hooliganism and offence.

Yevhen Golovakha, sociologist, deputy director of the Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Science:

- Similar situations happen not only in Ukraine. Do you remember when someone threw a shoe into George Bush? When people do not see civilized ways to influence the situation in the country, they resort to hooliganism. It is a soft form of aggressive protest.

Of course, people should restrain their emotions and behave adequately, but at the same time, politicians should pay better attention to people's voice and not ignore civilized appeals. Otherwise, hooliganism can turn into something more serious and dangerous. 

Volodymyr Kornilov, political scientist, historian, journalist:

- It does not come as a surprise. Ukrainian nationalists have always used such tactics. As a historian, I can tell you that back in 1917, during the first All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets,  nationalists behaved the same way and have not changed much ever since. The more nationalist we have in the politics the more incidents and attacks we will observe. Until the authorities do something to protect freedom of speech, the aggression will grow.

Yevhen Kopatko, sociologist:

- I believe this is a peculiarity of our behavior, and it proves lack of culture in the society. Such behavior does not make sense and is hardly an example to follow. People doing such things are ignorant and narrow-minded. It is a shame that hooliganism and public humiliation become a norm.

Dmytro Korchynski, president of the Institute of regional policy and modern political science problems:

- People have understood that peaceful rallies and protest actions bring no results. And if they want to demonstrate real protest and dissatisfaction with politicians and officials, they have to take more serious measures - to do material or moral damage. People do not dare yet to use explosives or to shoot, but already try to do moral damage.


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